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Gove literacy proposal 'an attempt to distract from warnings'

Education Secretary Michael Gove is attempting to use a campaign to fight school illiteracy "to distract from his failure to respond to warnings," on risks of extremism in Birmingham schools - Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary has said.

Hunt said that Gove was using today's announcement to distract from the Birmingham school issue. Credit: Yui Mok/PA

Tristram Hunt MP was referring to a report that two Birmingham schools run by the same educational trust were criticised by Ofsted, for apparently failing to protect pupils from the risks of extremism.

Gove: 'Competitive' league tables needed for pupils

Education secretary Michael Gove has told the Policy Exchange Think Tank that he wants competitiveness within schools between pupils, using a "rank order system."

Gove wants schools to emulate those which use a "rank order" system. Credit: Labour Exchange/Pool

Telling the Policy Exchange, he believes that creating a rank order for students to follow - pupils will strive to improve.

Gove said the model is "to replace the harmful competitiveness of street culture, the contest over who is coolest, who's trainers are smartest, who's attitude is the hardest, who's backchat is the most fly - with the competitiveness of academic culture."

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Michael Gove defiant in speech on educational reforms

Parents to face discipline for children's low school standards

Parents of unruly children in the classroom will face higher punishments for failing to ensure their children turn up to school "ready to learn," Michael Gove has warned.

The Education Secretary vowed against what he believes is a culture of low expectations in the classroom and lack of respect to teachers, vowing to drive up school standards "higher than ever before."

Education Secretary Michael Gove vows to drive up school standards. Credit: Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment

In a speech to the Policy Exchange think tank he said:

"We will, later this year, be outlining detailed proposals to ensure parents play their full part in guaranteeing good behaviour and outlining stronger sanctions for those who don't."

Education secretary plans to 'wipe out' illiteracy

A baby sounding out words whilst following text on page with her finger. Credit: Press Association Images

Education Secretary Michael Gove is to set out plans that he hopes will end illiteracy within a generation.

Mr Gove will put forward a framework to "save lives which are currently wasted" by a lack of basic skills, The Times said.

His pledge will reportedly be put forward for inclusion in the next Conservative manifesto and is likely to be included in a first draft of ideas that will be submitted to David Cameron by Jo Johnson, the chairman of the Prime Minister's policy board.

The commitment would see plans to ensure that all children leave school with strong reading and maths skills.

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Parents and technology have 'a vital role' in child literacy

Parents and new technologies have "a vital role to play" in making sure children develop their ability to read, a literacy charity has said.

NLT director Jonathan Douglas, warned reading, either on a tablet or physical book, was more beneficial to pre-school children if it was done with an adult.

Technology is playing an increasingly crucial role in all our lives and the ways in which children are learning are changing fast.

It is important that we keep abreast of these changes and their impact on children's education.

When parents read with their children, whatever the medium, they increase their child's enjoyment of reading which brings life-long benefits.

Both practitioners and parents have a vital role to play in supporting children to read from an early age whether they use books or a touch screen.

– NLT director Jonathan Douglas

'One in four children' use touch screen to read

Just over a quarter of children (26%) use a touch screen at home to read stories, a literacy charity has found.

The National Literacy Trust (NLT) found pre-school children were more likely to read every day if they had access to smartphones and tablets, as well as physical books.

  • The study also found children were still more likely to read using a physical book, with almost all (95.2%) looking at print-based stories on a typical week.
  • Children were more likely to enjoy reading if they used both books and a touch screen than reading books alone (77.4% compared to 70.8%).
  • Parents were keen to give their youngsters a head start in understanding modern technology. Nearly three quarters (73.7%) agreed it was important for their child to learn to use technology from an early age.

Poor children 'twice as likely' to read daily with tablet

Poor children under the age of five were twice as likely to read every day if they had access to a smartphone or tablet, a report has found.

Children who used both touch screen and print were "less likely" to under perform academically, the study found. Credit: Reuters

Youngsters are more likely to enjoy looking at a book and be reading at the right level for their age if they have access to the new technology, according to the study.

Research carried out by the National Literacy Trust (NLT) and education firm Pearson pointed to growing literacy among three to five-year-olds who used both touch screen and basic print technologies.

The findings, based on a poll of around 1,000 parents, found pre-schoolers from lower socio-economic backgrounds are twice as likely to look at stories using touch screen technology on a daily basis than those from more privileged homes (16% compared to 7.2%).

The study concludes: "Technology offers a route into reading for disadvantaged three to five-year-old children. Of children who have a touch screen at home, children of lower socio-economic status are twice as likely to look at stories daily."